Sunday, 20 December 2009

Mont Fourcat

Glorious weather today - clear blue skies, cold and crisp - a welcome relief from the weather of the past few days which effectively confined us to the house. We had to get out! We decided to head up to Mont Fourcat (2000m) above Tarascon, for what we hoped would be a ski de rando outing. However, on the approach by car it looked a tad bare and after skinning for a short while up the forest track we decided that there just wasn't sufficient snow cover to warrant the skis. So we returned to the car, dumped the skis and I set off for a solo jaunt up Mont Fourcat on foot, an outing I had last enjoyed with Ruth back in January.

As I left the forest behind me and reached open land, it was clear that the snow cover really was quite pathetic
So I pressed on, happy in the knowledge that my target in the distance was perfectly accessible in my B2 boots with the back up of my Kahtoola crampons should they be required. In 2 hours I reached the summit point of 2001m which afforded striking views of Pic de Saint Barthelemy and, beneath it, the Mont d'Olmes ski centre. I was alone. It was blissful. I soaked up the atmosphere, the sun and the vista for a few minutes before the bitingly cold wind urged me to think about my descent back down. I donned my crampons to aid a faster descent on the sections of icey terrain that I had come across on my way up. In just over an hour I was back at the car. 750m of ascent over 5kms. A brief but satisfying little outing.

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